Press release time! And we’ve been waiting for this one:
Get your jazz hands ready as ABC delivers new musical comedy doco Australian Epic in November.
The ABC is thrilled to announce the ingenious new six-part musical comedy documentary series Australian Epic, where six of Australia’s most defining stories are retold as musicals, will premiere on Wednesday, 8 November at 9pm on ABC TV and ABC iview.
Written by The Chaser’s Chris Taylor and Andrew Hansen, with 36 original songs performed by an ensemble cast of dazzling triple-threats, including Phoenix Jackson Mendoza (Six The Musical), Michelle Brasier (Aunty Donna’s Coffee Café), Fiona Choi (The Family Law), Sami Afuni (Hamilton), Nicholas Kong (Miss Saigon) and Amy Lehpamer (Beautiful: The Carole King Musical), this 6-part extravaganza breathes new life into some of the country’s most colourful stories, by giving them the full musical treatment they’ve always deserved.
Australian Epic swings between interviews with the real-life players and musical numbers that give Taylor and Hansen full rein to put their trademark satirical spin on the material. The stories receiving the complete razzle-dazzle makeover include the unlikely triumph of ice-skater Steven Bradbury, the fairy-tale of the young Tasmanian woman Mary Donaldson, the international meltdown caused by Johnny Depp’s pet dogs, Pistol and Boo, the comedy of errors that befell Melbourne’s cursed Ferris wheel, the saga of Schapelle Corby and the political showdown of the Tampa affair.
Writer and executive producer Chris Taylor says: “Writing comedy songs with Andrew Hansen has always been one of my favourite things in the world to do. So it was really great to reunite with him on this bonkers project, which features some of the best songs we’ve ever written, I think.”
Writer, composer, executive producer and ensemble cast member Andrew Hansen says: “At the same time, it’s also the only show we’ve done that has a heart. We actually wanted some of the songs to be quite moving, especially in the Tampa episode. So, there’s some emotional stuff in there that we finally allowed ourselves to have in our middle age.”
Ahem. It’s obvious to all that our recent “Where’s Stories From Oz?” campaign was the driving force behind getting this finally on air. It’s clearly in no way the result of a scheduling decision that was probably made months ago and the very idea is ludicrous thanks for asking. Was it possibly delayed to avoid comparisons with the non-musical but otherwise similar-sounding The Betoota Advocate Presents? How would we know?
No, we can take the credit for this finally reaching our screens 100%, even if the ABC has changed the title to try and throw everyone off the scent.
Whether we’ll want the credit once it airs remains to be seen.